The changing face of british business?
When we do Brand workshops with clients we often include an exercise designed to help them to identify the character they want their brand to portray and I think today I've spotted a trend. During the exercise participants are asked to choose two faces, one that represents how they feel the brand is seen now and the second, to represent what how they would like the brand to be seen. The actual faces are not that important its about the differences between the two faces. Invariably the changes in perception they wish for include:
- to be more open / accessible
- to be friendlier
- to be more interested / engaged
- to be less formal
If we stop to think about it this isn't surprising as it reflects changes in our society, but the real challenge comes in implementing the changes internally to make this character real, especially in a service business. It's relatively easy creating communications that portray the brand in this way, but changing the culture so that personal interactions feel in line with this character requires absolute commitment from the very top. Often the people at the top are older, more traditional and dare I say it, out of touch with what their customers really want.
We usually find that the "feeling" a business projects reflects the leader, especially when there is a strong leader. And so it should you could argue, but I believe there should be a separation between the personality of the leader and the personality of the business. This can only happen if it is designed to be so and implemented through a program of change. That's not as easy as it sounds.